Hamilton Wins Hockenheim One

Briton Lewis Hamilton has taken a comfortable win in the opening race of this year's Formula Three Euroseries at the Hockenheim circuit

The ASM F3 driver started on pole position after lapping nearly a second quicker than teammate Adrian Sutil in qualifying earlier this morning. Sutil had no answer for the pace of Hamilton, who eased away at the start and went on to win by over 6 seconds after an uneventful race for the pair.

Sutil was the only man who could run near the Briton's pace after clearing the early battle behind Hamilton, while Marco Bonanomi finished in third place to complete the podium, more than 18 seconds behind by the time he met the chequered flag.

Lucas di Grassi and Giedo van der Garde had the battle of the race while fighting for third position - the pair crashed spectacularly on the fourth lap of the race when di Grassi clipped the rear left tyre of the Dutchman's car and was sent into the air, rolling several times before landing on top of the tyre walls when hitting the circuit's fence.

The Brazilian was unhurt in the lurid incident, managing to climb out of the car unaided. The Dutchman lost a lot of time with a damaged car before retiring a few laps later.

On the first lap Paul di Resta, who will start from pole position in tomorrow's second race, Franck Perrera and Sebastien Vettel came together, putting two of the three out of the race. The move helped formerly unfancied driver Maximilian Gotz to claim an impressive fifth place at the end, nine seconds behind James Rossiter.

Lewis Hamilton was ecstatic at the end of the race: "It's just fantastic to have won the season opener - this has been a perfect start into the 2005 season. I think I will have similar chances tomorrow, but it will be important to score as many points as possible."

Teammate Adrian Sutil rued a poor start that killed off his chance of a win, noting: "My start was rather poor, and I lost a lot of time during my battle with Giedo van der Garde, but afterwards, my race was rather easy - there wasn't any pressure from behind, but I had no chance of pressurising Lewis as his lead was just too big."

The second round of the race meeting will be held tomorrow morning.

Formula Three Euroseries, Spa Francorchamps - Race 1

Pos Driver            Laps Time         Gap
 1. Hamilton (GBR)       18  28:43.886           
 2. Sutil (GER)          18  28:50.018  +   6.132
 3. Bonanomi (ITA)       18  29:01.992  +  18.106
 4. Rossiter (GBR)       18  29:02.683  +  18.797
 5. Gotz (GER)           18  29:11.237  +  27.351
 6. Duval (FRA)          18  29:21.536  +  37.650
 7. Zwolsman (NED)       18  29:22.218  +  38.332
 8. Abreu (BRA)          18  29:25.785  +  41.899
 9. Moreau (FRA)         18  29:26.555  +  42.669
10. Antinucci (USA)      18  29:27.612  +  43.726
11. Holzer (GER)         18  29:39.724  +  55.838
12. Hirate (JPN)         18  29:42.682  +  58.796
13. Franchi(BEL)         18  29:43.799  +  59.913
14. Carbone (BRA)        18  29:45.581  +1:01.695
15. Vettel (GER)         18  30:01.405  +1:17.519
16. van der Garde (NED)   8  13:14.912  + 10 laps
17. Nunez (ESP)           8  13:22.583  + 10 laps
18. di Grassi (BRA)       4   6:32.087  + 14 laps
19. Neuhauser (AUT)       4   6:43.947  + 14 laps
20. Salaquarda (CEZ)      1   1:51.206  + 17 laps
21. di Resta (GBR)        1   2:24.115  + 17 laps
22. Perera (FRA)                00.000  + 18 laps
23. Guerrieri (ARG)             00.000  + 18 laps
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